The Obtain: Questions over a clear gasoline startup, and Chinese language lockdown censorship

That is immediately’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a day by day dose of what’s happening on the planet of expertise.

This $1.5 billion startup promised to ship clear fuels as low-cost as gasoline. Consultants are deeply skeptical

Final summer season, Rob McGinnis, the founder and chief government of startup Prometheus Fuels, gathered buyers in a parking zone in Santa Cruz, California, to point out off his “Maxwell Core.” The pipe-shaped gadget is filled with a membrane riddled with carbon nanotubes, forming pores that separate alcohols from water.

That day, it was related to a tank full of each. As McGinnis defined how the expertise labored, his workers used it to fill the tank of a Harley-Davidson bike. The alcohol seeped by the membrane, concentrating it sufficient to energy the car, which had been transformed to run on the gasoline, he mentioned.

It was a theatrical demonstration of the expertise key to McGinnis’s beguiling pitch: Prometheus will rework the worldwide gasoline sector by drawing greenhouse gasoline out of the air and changing it into carbon-neutral fuels which might be as low-cost as soiled, typical ones.

However whereas buyers have thrown cash on the firm, pushing it as much as a valuation of greater than $1.5 billion, there’s little proof it may possibly really reside as much as its lofty claims. Learn the complete story.

James Temple

WeChat desires folks to make use of its video platform. In order that they did, for digital protests.

Inside Shanghai: On Friday night time, thousands and thousands of individuals in China watched the identical video on their telephones: a six-minute montage of audio clips from the covid-19 lockdown in Shanghai, titled The Voice of April. Its emphasis on the lockdown’s human toll struck a chord, and other people shared it broadly on WeChat and different messaging websites.

Inevitable censorship: Regardless of its reserved tone and lack of private remark, even a “protected” video might be seen as disruptive if it reaches too giant an viewers in China’s political actuality. State censors started shortly scrubbing the clip from messaging websites, prompting folks to seek out intelligent methods to dodge censorship and assist it attain the following viewer.

Resisting erasure: Chinese language folks have used each technological device at their disposal to avoid or deceive the pandemic censorship machine, together with disguising the video by embedding it in different clips, overlaying its audio onto different movies, and utilizing QR codes to share the video’s hyperlink. However whereas the censors succeeded in getting the clip taken down, the lifeless hyperlinks to the unique stay on folks’s timelines, reminding everybody of what occurred. Learn the complete story.

—Zeyi Yang

Quote of the day

“What else can we do? It’s simply the state of life now.”

—Galina, a plumbing saleswoman from Ivano-Frankivsk, a metropolis within the west of Ukraine, tells The Guardian why she signed up for classes educating girls tips on how to deal with a gun.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you immediately’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 TikTok has turn out to be a significant platform for misinformation in regards to the battle in Ukraine
Movies peddling falsehoods are drawing thousands and thousands of views. (BBC)
+ The US is trying to make up for misplaced time in supporting Ukraine, after years of combined indicators and indecisiveness from US leaders. (NYT $)
+ Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Russia is failing in its battle goals. (AP)
+ The US is growing arms shipments to Kyiv. (FT $)
+ How Russian influencers are responding to the battle. (The Guardian)

2 Chinese language NFT platforms don’t need you to commerce NFTs anymore
The query is whether or not folks will nonetheless purchase them as soon as large earnings are off the desk. (TR)

three Individuals are taking out blockchain loans to repay their pupil debt
That is as dangerous because it sounds. (TR)

four Tech giants are attempting to undermine belief of their newly-formed unions

Utilizing some moderately old-school ways. (WP $)
+ Apple retailer staff are following Amazon and Starbucks staff’ instance. (WSJ $)

5 Elon Musk might finalize a deal to purchase Twitter this week
Time to take his provide critically, should you weren’t already. . (WSJ $)

6 Being a high-profile lady on-line is exhausting 
It’s no marvel so lots of them select to decide out altogether.  (Wired $)
+ The right way to shield your self from on-line harassment. (WP $)
+ Even higher, right here’s how we might make the web suck much less for girls (and everybody else.) (TR)

7 Gen Z isn’t okay with the way in which we work immediately
And so they’re not afraid to say so, both.  (Vox)

eight The phrase “doxxing” is dropping its which means 

Right here’s what it doesn’t imply: somebody doing their job as a journalist. (The Atlantic $)

9 Spacesuits desperately want a makeover
They’re method too stiff, for a begin. (The Economist $)
+ Michigan desires to be the following large house state. (New Yorker $) + The primary all-private mission to the ISS is heading again to Earth. (Area)
+ Whereas rising meat in house is feasible, it’d be extraordinarily costly. (BBC)

10 Why we’re nonetheless so loopy for immediate images 📸
Spoiler: it’s not nearly nostalgia. (Quick Firm $)
+ Artwork collectors ought to be cautious about shopping for fade-prone Polaroids. (Artsy)

We will nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre occasions. (Acquired any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ This enthusiastic spaniel has a improbable forehand.
+ Who knew that France was dwelling to so many wacky festivals?
+ I need to go to each single one in all these bars and eating places with unbelievable views of New York Metropolis.
+ A failsafe methodology for cooking the proper soft-boiled egg.
+ Archaeologists have unearthed a fantastically preserved historical Roman pottery workshop in Egypt.
+ This checklist of the perfect locations within the US for a spot of stargazing will get you planning your subsequent journey away.
+ Phew— an enormous squid has been safely rescued after it washed ashore in Japan.

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